Monthly Archives: November 2012

Word on the street

Why is it that the very notion that a poem must be anatomised and encoded to be understood? Is this not is haughty, foolish, and self-defeating? Are there any other genres that demand that the work be anatomised and encoded?

Is it not that the poet only begins a poem and the reader finishes it? The poet responses to an idea through feeling, sets images, form and rhythm to it, strains it through a filter of experiences, and puts it on paper as a poem? It is then up to the reader to take the poem, strain it through a filter of their own experiences, and to then to derive an emotion from it?

The poet who is serious about the art must learn that one poem written is many received and understood, all without the reader’s conscious effort to “encode” it. This fact alone benefits the poet in at least two ways: it liberates him to write more and better poetry, and it automatically and radically increases his body of work.

The ability of the poet to sense the world around close-up, then report these feelings to the reader; and, overall, how to siphon from the ether an abstract, an emotion, and put it into fixed form, a poem, in such a way that the reader can experience the same emotion is what is needed.

Word on the street is; leave it to me. Set it up and I will take it in and decide what it means to me and me alone.